How Do I Love Thee Sugar?
The idea that there is a relationship between inflammation and disease is not new. In recent times, sugar has been unfairly blamed.
The reality is however, that sugar is highly anti-inflammatory. Let me count the ways.
For thyroid and metabolism to function effectively, sugar is required.
Underactive thyroid as well as a lack of available sugar, both cause an increase in stress hormones (in particular adrenalin and cortisol) as well as the release of free fatty acids which (especially when polyunsaturated), cause further interference with thyroid function and energy metabolism.
The continued release of cortisol and adrenalin – as well as the polyunsaturated fats and their breakdown products – promote inflammation and prevent it from subsiding.
When thyroid is under active body temperature is lowered and digestion slows, leading to an overgrowth of bacteria and a subsequent increase in endotoxin secretion.
Endotoxin irritates the lining of the intestine causing the release of serotonin and nitric oxide which (when energy is lacking and polyunsaturated fats are present), promote inflammation as well as permeability in the intestinal wall. This then allows increased amounts of endotoxin to pass through to the liver.
Endotoxin stresses the liver, and lack of sugar as well as insufficient thyroid slow liver function. This can cause the liver to become overloaded, letting more toxins through as well as interfering with its ability to regulate hormones, thus promoting systemic inflammation.
The combination of these factors creates a vicious cycle as the body releases more stress hormones in an attempt to ramp up energy systems, promoting a state of chronic inflammation.
One way to break this cycle is by providing sufficient sugar to fuel energy systems and suppress stress hormones.
In the event that there is excess sugar, it will be converted into saturated and omega 9 fats, both of which are anti inflammatory.
A diet of milk, cheese, easily digestible sweet ripe fruits, honey and sugar is a rational approach to lowering inflammation.
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